Fishing Reels

Shimano Stella fishing reel
We got to test the Shimano Stella, one of the most expensive recreational fishing reels, at the largest sportfishing tradeshow in the US, iCast. Photo: Chase Fly

Fishing reel reviews, how-to-guides, and comparisons. Whether you’re in the market for the best spinning reel for bass, a baitcaster, or a fly reel, find the best fishing reel buyer’s guides and tips at Outdoor Empire.

Fishing Reel Guides and Reviews

Main types of fishing reels on rods laying on floor

What Are the Most Common Types of Fishing Reels?

The difference between reels is often a confusing subject for anglers — especially those who are new to the sport — but ...
Close up of medium spinning reel size in anglers hands on a fishing rod

Fishing Reel Sizes Explained! All Reel Types with Charts

Every bit of fishing gear has an effect on what you can catch and how easy it’s going to be to reel ...
spinning reel in action

What is Drag on a Fishing Reel and How Does It Work?

When a monster grabs your line and starts to pull, you know you’re in for a fight. Over the years, fishing reels ...
Most Expensive Fishing Reels

The Most Expensive Fishing Reels Money Can (and Can’t) Buy

Buying the most expensive fishing reel you can find and heading out with high hopes of catching a monster is easy. The ...
fishing reels and lines

Where to Get a Fishing Reel Spooled and How Much It Costs

Every now and again, you will encounter issues with your fishing reel and will need it spooled with line again. No matter ...
rsz ultralight spinning reel

6 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels Reviewed (Hands-on Guide)

Ultralight fishing has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade. Whether it is a desire to “return to their roots” and catch ...
Fly reel

12 Best Fly Reels: The Definitive Guide (In-Depth Reviews)

Many anglers consider a reel to be the least important component of their fly fishing gear. They’ll sing the praises of a ...
man holding spincasting reel on a lake

Best Spincasting Reels Reviewed & Tested (Hands-on Guide)

Almost every angler has owned a spincasting reel at some point in time, although you may not remember it, if it was your first reel. For ...
man holding baitcasting reel

Best Baitcasting Reels Reviewed: The Definitive Guide

Baitcasting reels are some of the most popular reels used by modern anglers, and they are a great choice for those who want to use ...
spinning rod and reel

13 Best Spinning Reels Reviewed & Tested (Hands-on Guide)

While bass anglers and trolling aficionados often prefer baitcasting reels, and most kid-friendly rod and reel combos feature a spincasting reel, spinning ...
rsz spinning reel for bass

7 Best Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing Reviewed (Hands-on Guide)

Are you thinking of adding a spinning reel to your bass fishing arsenal? Are you having a difficult time navigating the hundreds ...
saltwater spinning rod and reel

Best Under $100 Spinning Reels Reviewed (Hands-on Guide)

Are you searching for a new spinning reel? They make an excellent addition to any tackle box. Are you a little short ...
saltwater reel vs freshwater reel

Saltwater vs Freshwater Reels: What’s the Big Difference? 

Although most anglers ply their craft in broadly similar ways, there are a few significant differences between those who fish in freshwater ...
spinning reel with spool

How to Spool a Spinning Reel Without The Line Twist

It’s always more fun to fish than it is to futz around with your gear, but some types of maintenance are unavoidable. ...
rsz piscifun sword 1

Review: Piscifun Sword 5/6 Fly Fishing Reel

Outdoor Empire top pick as affordable fly reel! The Piscifun Sword fly reel is one of the best entry-level reels currently on ...